First Year Residential Housing Requirement Exemption

First Year Residential Housing Requirement Exemption

The College is committed to the social and academic benefits of being a residential college.  All students considered to be in their “first-year” of college and attending as a full-time student (whether entering with transfer credit or not) are required to live on-campus. 

Saint Mary’s College of California strongly believes in the value of the on-campus residential experience for students. Best practices and numerous student development studies have indicated the following regarding students who live on-campus during their first year of college.


  • They earn better grades and have higher GPAs than non-resident counterparts.
  • They develop stronger ties to the college and have a greater feeling of community with their peers.
  • They report having greater opportunities to interact with faculty and staff and feel more connected to their educational experience.
  • They build more meaningful and lasting relationships with their peers.
  • They are generally more satisfied with their college experience than students who live off-campus.
  • They tend to graduate at a higher rate and finish college sooner than non-resident counterparts.

Students may apply for an exemption to this requirement. However, please be advised that because of the strong foundation that an on-campus experience provides for new students, few exemptions to the live-on requirement will be approved. “Distance from home to campus” as a stand-alone reason is not an exemption to be approved. Students who anticipate having difficulties with college expenses, including housing costs, should contact the Financial Aid Office at (925) 631-4370 for determining eligibility for assistance with the cost of attendance.


Details regarding the exemption process are found here.


To apply for an exemption, please visit here